India's Anshul Jubli three steps away from UFC contract - Hindustan Times

After dominating Indian MMA circuit, Uttarkashi's Anshul Jubli stands three steps away from UFC contract

Jun 08, 2022 04:06 PM IST

Anshul Jubli beams with confidence as he stands three wins away from bagging a UFC contract, the ultimate dream of every MMA aspirant.

“I'm gonna get that contract for India, for me, and for my family.” Anshul Jubli beams with confidence as he stands three wins away from bagging a UFC contract, the ultimate dream of every MMA aspirant. 

Indian MMA fighter Anshul Jubli(Instagram/kingoflions_)
Indian MMA fighter Anshul Jubli(Instagram/kingoflions_)

The first step of his three-way battle will be against Japan's Sho Patrick Usami at the Road to UFC competition in Singapore on Friday. A win against him, which the Indian anticipates to be the case, will take him to the next round, the schedule for which is yet to be announced. 

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“He is very good fighter with a 4-1 record and I think this fight would be my toughest. But I'm very very excited, plus confident that I'm winning this fight, the tournament and getting that UFC contract,” Jubli tells Hindustan Times in an exclusive interaction from Singapore. 

In fact, the 27-year-old rates his technique to be superior than his opponent, and backs the surprise element in his game to help his case.

“I think he's more of a striker but this is mixed martial arts. I am better striker, wrestler, plus I have better grappling BJJ and I combine it very well. If you think I'm striking with you, the next second I'm grappling, if you think I'm grappling and we stand up, I can strike you. So I think I mix it better and I'm better athlete,” he adds. 

It was not until the last week of May when the Indian fighter was assured of the opportunity, although he was hinted by his coach earlier about it in the same month. However, fight or no fight, it is expected from a professional to always keep himself in shape and Jubli was doing the same by training at a Muay Thai centre in Phuket, Thailand. 

Telling us about his preparations for the match, Jubli said: "From the last week of May I started preparing for this fight. That time it was just a potential fight. But then on June 1st it got confirmed that I'm fighting in this promotion and I got very excited because this is UFC, it's every fighters' dream that go to the UFC and become a champion there. 

So everything goes right from my weight cut to my training and Tiger Muay Thai was very good. I got the chance to train with UFC fighters like Rafael Fiziev, so my confidence went very high from that experience." 

‘MFN was a blessing’

Jubli, who hails from Uttarkashi - a culturally rich town in Uttarakhand, was handed a professional MMA debut by India's biggest mixed martial arts promoters - Matrix Fight Night (MFN). During his stint with MFN, Jubli fought five times and won all his fights comfortably. 

"MFN was a blessing to me. That promotion is doing very good for MMA fighters in India and I'm blessed to be a part of that promotion. My terms and my relationship with everyone in MFN is still very tight and good. 

MFN gives Indian MMA athletes a fair chance to show their skills and I'm here and MFN has a big part in it," he said. 

Also Read: After withstanding pandemic, Matrix Fight Night is ‘building itself’ for next big chapter

Jubli believes MMA comes naturally to him and it was not him “who chose the sport, but the sports chose him.”

Apart from the 27-year-old, the competition will also see another Indian Pawan Maan Singh in fray for the UFC contract. If any of the two wins the tournament, they will be the second Indian after Bharat Khandare bagged the lucrative contract at the same event held in 2017. 

Khandare failed to make an impact and was officially released by UFC last year after being banned for consuming a prohibited substance, which the fighter claimed was prescribed by his doctor, who was unaware of him being a professional athlete under the regulations of USADA.

Watch Road to UFC Episode 3 & 4 LIVE on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 10th June at 12:00 pm & 3:00 pm IST.

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